Plastic: A clear winner

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With Perspex heels and vinyl bags, fashion has gone plastic fantastic for spring – just make sure you're up to the scrutiny, says Rebecca Gonsalves

The more insalubrious connotations of plastic accessories may have been left by the wayside thanks to a high-fashion update, but the pieces in question still conjure up a dilemma or two of their own.

Take clear plastic panelling on shoes and sandals, for instance. Summer fashion has been given clarity for a few seasons now, thanks in part to Miuccia Prada (but, of course) who, for summer 2010, sent models down the Prada catwalk in translucent black and see-through plastic sandals and pointy-toed courts. This season, Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli gave their much-loved Rockstud accessories range a "naked" makeover, with bags, shoes and even studs crafted out of clear plastic. The material was carried through to their ready-to-wear collection, too, with a clear plastic raincoat trimmed with studded leather.

Simone Rocha's Perspex-soled brogues were an instant hit when she debuted them for summer 2012 and this season the blocky heels and platforms were infused with the fluorescents of her collection. While at Burberry, Christopher Bailey reimagined the brand's Blaze bag in vinyl in all the colours of the rainbow, and then some.

For those who worry about the practicalities of a clear plastic shoe (the need for pedicured tootsies at all times, for instance) the solution is to opt for a Perspex heel instead. Handily, the material lends itself particularly well to the blocky, hefty heel that is such a big trend this season.

Plastic bags conjure up a concern on the presentation front, too: a thorough edit of the contents is strongly advised to ensure they stand up to the inevitable scrutiny.

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